Tag Archives: south minneapolis

King’s Wine Bar – Minneapolis

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When driving through the Kingfield neighborhood of Minneapolis, I came across Kings Wine Bar. Since we don’t really have a good wine bar in our neighborhood south of the river, I just had to take Rob here for a nightcap after dinner one night.

We loved it. It kind of reminds me of a neighborhood café you’d find in Paris. You know, the kind where they have full-service: beer, wine, food and coffee. I imagined sitting here for hours sipping a coffee while meeting a friend, blogging or just reading a good book. In the evening, the place is dimly lit, creating great ambiance.

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I guess that the trouble with going there for a nightcap is that food must be ordered in order to serve alcohol. It’s a requirement as part of their liquor license for locating in a residential neighborhood. While it would be nice to just stop in for a glass of wine from time to time, I totally get it. If people didn’t eat and just drank all night, they could be loud, obnoxious and disturb the other neighbors.

Since then, we’ve gone back a few times. In fact, I’ve taken girlfriends here for dessert after our dinner nights out, too! On one occasion, Rob and I put in an order for mac & cheese with our wine and the tried the dessert special.

MAC & CHEESE  full $10 || half $8 add bacon $2 || add broccoli $2 || mushrooms $3

MAC & CHEESE

Dessert Special: Butterscotch Budino

Dessert Special – Butterscotch Budino

Since Rob absolutely adores butterscotch, we were excited about this dessert. Unfortunately, we were disappointed. No biggie though, everyone else who has been there with me has enjoyed the desserts there.

It’s a Wine Bar! What about the wine?

There are four beers on tap at any given time which are often local or craft brews. But many other beers are offered in the bottle or the can.

The wine list is pretty extensive for a little neighborhood wine bar. I mean, how many of you can walk to one in your neighborhood and order a bottle of Sancerre or Amarone? There are over 20 wines offered by the glass and over 100 by the bottle. They offer a hefty pour of Port, too!

But despite all of these offerings, this place is in no way stuffy. In fact, the people who work there are kind of quirky. I like that. A lot.

Still, the food shouldn’t be overlooked! {You have to try it if you want some wine or beer, anyway.} We wound up here when my mom was in town. She wanted to try a Café Cubano and my google search yielded Victors 1959 Café. We decided on it for breakfast/brunch. However, it was Memorial Day and the wait seemed like it would be hours for such a small place. After driving around, we happened upon Kings and having been there before, we knew it would be a good choice.

GRILLED CHEESE mozzarella, cheddar and gruyere with tomato soup

GRILLED CHEESE – mozzarella, cheddar and gruyere with tomato soup

And while I thought it was tasty {exceptional bread, possibly from Patisserie 46 next door?!}, I was quite envious of my mom’s and Rob’s orders. How could I know they’d make an exceptional burger?

KINGS BURGER caramelized onions, gruyere cheese, bacon, pickles and shallot aioli $11

KINGS BURGER – caramelized onions, gruyere cheese, bacon, pickles and shallot aioli

Burger of the week? Blue cheese or mushroom sauce?

Burger with Blue Cheese Mushroom Sauce

I can’t find this burger on their online menu now!!! How annoying is that? I considered this a top burger in the Twin Cities and I *think* Rob agreed. That day, there was a burger and beer special. A burger plus a beer for just $10. That’s a pretty good deal in our area. I wonder if I it was a specialty burger or if I could order it again.

And you know how I mentioned that we enjoy the Port here? I don’t think we’ve ever patronized this place without one of us ordering a glass of Port. I can’t think of many other places where that is the case. But that day that we were there with my mom, our server, Lori, told us that when she was in a band that performed in Portugal and loved her experience stopping at all the vineyards where you could enjoy Port and tapas with the beautiful view. We loved her passion and you must know that is now on our travel bucket list!

We love that in the Twin Cities, Kings Wine Bar is not well-known, or at least we hadn’t learned of it until I drove by the place. But there’s so much going on there! One time there was a doggie parade in the neighborhood. And they offer brunch and date night. It’s just one of those places where I find myself drawn to dine. I feel content here.

Now you know why I chose Café Ena for dinner one night. I knew Rob enjoyed Kings as much as I did, so trying another place across the street was difficult.

What is your favorite Wine Bar {or place to drink wine if you aren’t near one!} where you live?

Cheers~
Carrie

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Cafe Ena – Minneapolis

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I chose Café Ena to dine one evening when my husband said that he’d take me anywhere for dinner when our Friday night plans got messed up. It was kind of a last minute decision, but I love this neighborhood of South Minneapolis and also knew that it would be hard to get him there otherwise with so many other great restaurants around. It was also the night before our Dog Day 5k walk.

We started off with a bottle of Tempranillo. I mean, it is Latin Fusion Cuisine, right? I haven’t been ordering wine in restaurants lately because they are so overpriced. I know I can get a good quality pint of beer for $4 or $5, but a glass of mediocre, often open-too-long, wine is about $8-$12 per glass. Bottles of wine are usually double or triple the retail price. So if I want something decent tasting, I’m paying $50/bottle or more. But I digress. This wine was decent.

I was in a chicken mood and had been trying to decide between the Pollo and the Ena {chicken filled ravioli} dishes. When this happens, I usually ask for guidance from the server. And while I know it’s annoying to them, I do like to hear their opinions. However, Jaime was not giving up his thoughts. Instead, he just went a little more in depth with the descriptions. He did say that the Pollo was a little more filling than the Ena, which, in the end, helped me to choose.

Pollo  Herb lemon marinated chicken served over a marscapone-trio bell pepper risotto in a guajillo butter sauce garnish with pickled onions.$18.95

Pollo
Herb lemon marinated chicken served over a marscapone-trio bell pepper risotto in a guajillo butter sauce garnish with pickled onions – $18.95

This was some of the most flavorful and juicy chicken I’ve had! I was quite satisfied with this dish. The risotto was good, too. I made Rob take a taste and he was blown away. Perfectly al dente and highly flavorful, he said it’s some of the best risotto he’s had. It’s hard to convince him of that when he loves the Parmesan risotto so much at Sul Lago.

Rob doesn’t really ever discuss with me what he is thinking of ordering. And he never asks the server for advice, either. Sometimes, he even tells me that he is ordering something different from what he actually orders. This time it was the:

Bife de Chorizo Gorgonzola-crusted Argentine steak served with garlic herb fries, sautéed artichokes, asparagus and red peppers; drizzled with chimichuri. $23.95

Bife de Chorizo
Gorgonzola-crusted Argentine steak served with garlic herb fries, sautéed artichokes, asparagus and red peppers; drizzled with chimichuri – $23.95

I’m not sure why this is described as “chorizo”, but Rob loved it. He said he’d order it again any day. The fries were mediocre, but that really wasn’t what we were there for anyway.

What threw me off guard was the ambiance. I expected it to be dim, quiet and intimate. However, the interior was bright and despite the great Latin decor, the way the booths and tables were set up, I felt a little like I was at Denny’s. I apologize for that description because the food is totally worth checking the place out. That may be why many people were getting food to go. You know, I always forget about to-go orders. I need to remember that when we don’t feel like going out, but I also don’t feel like cooking.

My plan is to take my girlfriends back here. It seemed like a place that they’d enjoy. But that night, Rob and I skipped dessert. Instead, we went for a nightcap across the street. More on that later this week…

Where do you go that you love the food but aren’t as fond of the ambiance?

What is your favorite place to pick up food to-go?

Cheers~
Carrie